Paper towels are more sanitary than hand dryers. Hand rubbing brings out bacteria.
Although hand dryers are more environmentally friendly than paper towels researchers found that bacteria levels increased when people rubbed their hands together while using them.
A study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology concluded that paper towels were the most effective means of reducing the risk of infection after washing.
Bacteria living within the skin is brought to the surface when wet hands are rubbed together under a dryer. The bacteria can then be transferred to other surfaces.
Unless the intake filters are cleaned or replaced regularly (most are not), hand dryers will also blow any bacteria present in the room directly on to your hands.
Studies by Charles Gerba showed that toilet flushing ejects a virus and fecal bacteria covered aerosol into the air, where it remains for up to 2 hours.
Not drying hands at all also leads to an increased risk of spreading bacteria.